Everyone needs a vacation. Restful time away along with significant time with loved ones is a must for all people, including God-honoring believers in Christ. But why is it that temptation toward sin is so present while you are vacation?
From abusive alcohol consumption, to inappropriate movies in hotels, to partying night spots, to watching others too closely while at the beach, temptation is everywhere on vacation.
I think there are several reasons Christians should be mindful of while away.
1. You are away from your normal routine. You are out of the daily patterns you are accustomed to, therefore everything feels new and novel. With that novelty, comes new traps not present back home. It is the same reason people get sick on vacation. They sleep differently, eat different foods, are exposed to different temperatures and thus comes a virus. All of these novelties cause exhaustion on the body and bring on a cold. The same can happen with your soul. Different, novel environments can cause you to waver in your convictions.
2. No one will ever know. The thoughts comes to your mind that you will never see these people ever again. Being anonymous can be fun. Not knowing a single person can be freeing. You can wear whatever you want because “I don’t know these people and I am never going to see them again.” But it is more than that. It is a secrecy which leads toward the temptation to be more provocative and loose since no one will ever know. Just ask a spring breaking Christian college student about the “no one will ever” allure of Panama City Beach or South Padre Island.
3. Disconnection from your accountability partners and home church. While some vacationers find a place of worship on Sunday to visit, most do not. Being disconnected from fellow believers means you are less likely to be encouraged in the Word or in communion with God. You are also away from those individuals in your life that hold you up on a regular basis. Both opportunities give temptation an easier path.
4. Vacation spots have easy access to all sorts of vices. You’ve heard it before “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” In the major vacation areas, opportunities for sin abound. The options and varieties are endless. Business owners know that vacationers have extra money and a desire to spend it on “having a good time.” So they prey on vacationers with plenty of sex, alcohol, gambling, and others forms of licentious living.
5. Vacationing creates a sense of freedom which means trying new things. Why do you think there are theme parks with thrill rides or vacation spots with those human slingshots? Not that there is anything wrong with those things. However, Christian vacationers feel like this is their chance to try something new, to do something they would never do at home. And this can lead to sinful choices. They want to push the envelope to feel that rush of adrenaline and rebellion.
6. Lastly, the “Well, I am on Vacation” Attitude which means I can do whatever I like. No one is watching. No one will ever know. No one cares. I’ve worked hard all year, its time to blow off some steam and party it up a bit.
But we must understand God Almighty is omnipresent. He is not restricted to your hometown. He knows. He’s aware of all things. His desire is that your integrity and Christian conduct on vacation be honoring to Him. In many ways, how you live out the Christian life while on vacation is more true of your conviction and commitment to Christ than when you are at home. Who you are when no one is watching is your true character.
It might be said that who you are on vacation is the more truthful, honest picture of yourself as a follower of Jesus.